For all their ubiquity, life and death have not been fully explored as integral themes in many forms of contemporary Chinese art. Life and Death addresses that lacuna. Exploring the strategies employed by a variety of Chinese artists who engage with these timeless concerns, Silvia For opens a new line of inquiry about contemporary art in a rapidly changing environment.
For focuses, in particular, on the ways in which these artists use their own bodies, animals’ bodies, and other corporeal substances to represent life and death in performance art, installations, and photography. Over the course of her investigations, corporeality emerges as a common means of highlighting the social and cultural issues that surround these themes. By assessing its effectiveness in the expression of life, death, and related ideas, For Ultimately illuminates the extent to which we can see corporeality as a significant trend in the history of contemporary art in China. Her conclusion will fascinate scholars of performance and installation art, photography, and contemporary Chinese art. (Back Cover)